Tag Archives: authority

PSG could move for Cristiano Ronaldo if we wanted, says Leonardo

We can if we want! PSG fire clear signal in Ronaldo pursuit but rule out moves for Evra and Cole

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

11:28 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:28 GMT, 9 January 2013

Paris St Germain chief Leonardo has given the clearest indication yet the club will move for Cristiano Ronaldo in the coming months.

The former Brazil international is in charge of player recruitment at the Ligue 1 leaders, who are bankrolled by the Qatari royal family.

Real deal: Cristiano Ronaldo's future in Madrid is far from certain after a contract dispute

Real deal: Cristiano Ronaldo's future in Madrid is far from certain after a contract dispute

Real deal: Cristiano Ronaldo's future in Madrid is far from certain after a contract dispute

Big bucks: Leonardo, posing with Lucas Moura, is in charge of player recruitment at PSG

Big bucks: Leonardo, posing with Lucas Moura, is in charge of player recruitment at PSG

Ronaldo sparked pandemonium around the
Europe last year when he openly criticised Real Madrid's dealings with
him as he sought to extend his current deal, which has less two years to
run.

Few clubs in world football are capable of stumping up the cash for the world's most expensive player, who has been at the Spanish club since his 80million move from Manchester United in 2009.

And speaking to L'Equipe, Leonardo suggested that, as part of the select group, PSG would be keen on striking a deal.

He said: 'Cristiano Ronaldo Paris St Germain have become a club where anything is possible. However, he still has an ongoing contract with Real Madrid and we have to realise that he will not leave Madrid for just any club.

'When we are discussing a possible transfer for a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, there are only four or five clubs that can be taken into consideration. PSG are one of those.'

PSG are on the verge of signing a sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) that will earn the club more than 200m a year until 2016, a move which will help them fall in line with UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.

Addressing other transfer targets, namely Premier League defenders Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra as well as Lionel Messi, Leonardo was more definitive.

'Cole or Evra No. With Christophe Jalley, Maxwell, Gregory van der Wiel and Sylvain Armand, I think we have what it takes. In the future we will talk abvout it, but not now.'

No thanks: PSG won't be moving for Premier League pair Patrice Evra and Ashley Cole

No thanks: PSG won't be moving for Premier League pair Patrice Evra and Ashley Cole

No thanks: PSG won't be moving for Premier League pair Patrice Evra and Ashley Cole

Formula One calendar 2013: Turkish Grand Prix looks set for return in absence of New Jersey race

Turkish GP looks set for return to F1 calendar in absence of New Jersey race

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UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 5 December 2012

The 2013 Formula One calendar could again stretch to 20 races in the wake of today’s final meeting this year of the World Motor Sport Council.

With the removal of the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey until 2014 due to financial and construction difficulties, it appeared the calendar for next season would revert back to 19 races following the record 20 this campaign.

Track record: Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag at Istanbul in May 2010

Track record: Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag at Istanbul in May 2010

2013 Formula One Calendar

Mar 17: Australia
Mar 24: Malaysia

Apr 14: China
Apr 21: Bahrain

May 12: Spain
May 26: Monaco

Jun 9: Canada
Jun 30: Britain

Jul 7: Germany
Jul 21: TBC
Jul 28: Hungary

Aug 25: Belgium

Sep 8: Italy
Sep 22: Singapore

Oct 6: Korea
Oct 13: Japan
Oct 27: India

Nov 3: Abu Dhabi
Nov 17: United States
Nov 24: Brazil

However, the WMSC has opted to switch
the German GP – which still does not have a confirmed venue – from July
14 to July 7, and which will now be back-to-back with the British GP at
Silverstone.

In doing so, they have created a vacancy for July 21, which the WMSC state 'has been reserved for another F1 European event, subject to the approval of the relevant ASNs (National Sporting Authority)'.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is known to be in discussions with the new owners of the Istanbul Park in the hope of restoring the Turkish Grand Prix to the calendar, with the likelihood now next year.

That race would also form a double-header with the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 28 ahead of a four-week summer break across August.

Barcelona cash in on Lionel Messi & Co with Qatar Airways shirt deal

Barcelona break with tradition by cashing in on Messi & Co with Qatar Airways deal

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

11:22 GMT, 20 November 2012

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UPDATED:

13:28 GMT, 20 November 2012

Barcelona have sparked controversy by turning their back on 112 years of history with their latest shirt sponsorship deal.

The Spanish giants have agreed for Qatar Airways to be emblazoned on their famous scarlet and blue shirts from the beginning of next season.

Major attraction: Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Major attraction: Barcelona star Lionel Messi

How Martin Samuel highlighted Barca's greed

Almighty Barcelona more than a club Not when they claim moral authority

Forget the halo, even the blessed Barcelona are tainted by greed

The Doha-state run airline will replace current sponsors The Qatar Foundation, who provide funding for health and education projects and will revert to the club's official human development partner.

The move is part of Barcelona's five-year deal with Qatar Sports Investments worth 125 million

But it has angered some fans as it will be the first time a corporate logo will appear on the shirts.

For years, Barcelona refused to follow their European rivals and have a shirt sponsor.

They finally relented in 2003 by allowing the children's charity UNICEF, to occupy their famous shirts.

In 2010 The Qatar Foundation, another charitable organisation, became the first brand to be allowed on the shirts.

Sandro Rosell, president of Barcelona, has welcomed Qatar Airways as 'an ambitious brand with global aspirations, always committed to achieving the utmost excellence in its field'.

Centre of attention: Messi training in Moscow for Tuesday's Champions League tie

Centre of attention: Messi training in Moscow for Tuesday's Champions League tie

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, added: 'We are delighted to form this alliance with FC Barcelona, the biggest football club in the world. Qatar Airways has been voted best airline in the world for two consecutive years and will work with FC Barcelona on activities of benefit both to fans and passengers, offering tangible rewards to both organisations.'

Rosell also stressed that 'after sharing two fantastic years with Qatar
Foundation, we are delighted to be continuing our relationship by
welcoming them as our official Human Development Partner.'

A Qatar Foundation spokesperson said: 'When we started this fantastic journey with FC Barcelona, our objective was to work closely with the club, the team and the supporters to promote awareness of Qatar Foundation on an international scale. This has been a huge success.

'In fact, the first two years of the collaboration have surpassed our expectations and we are looking to deepen and strengthen our relationship with FC Barcelona and its supporters around the world in our continued role as a proud partner of the club.'

No logo: Rivaldo (right) in 2002

No logo: Rivaldo (right) in 2002

First step: Ronaldinho in UNICEF sponsored shirt in 2007

First step: Ronaldinho in UNICEF sponsored shirt in 2007

A big deal for Barca

When the Qatar Foundation agreed to become the new shirt sponsors at Barcelona, the club certainly did not make the concession on the cheap.

For the Catalan giants, who famously withstood commercial pressure for a shirt sponsor until 2011, agreed a 125m deal over five seasons that would see the non-profit making government-backed organisation of the Middle East state receive global exposure in return.

It was not a move that was free of controversy. Opponents highlighted Qatar's poor human rights record and argued whether it was right that Barcelona should be promoting such an organisation.

However, it appears that the goalposts have now been moved within two years of that orginial announcement. It would appear that Barcelona's members – who voted originally to accept the deal – are being weaned off the concept of the club promoting a quasi-charitable cause for one that is purely commercial.

Barcelona are able to do this because the contract was signed with the Qatar Sports Investment group – a company who have the power to change the name on the shirt in the third year of their agreement.

A clause in the contract has seen them to do just that. Barcelona will not receive any more money for the sleight-of-hand which has seen Qatar Airways take over the role as shirt sponsors next season, save for the 25m chunk that has already been agreed between the parties.

However, the deal remains the most lucrative in world football, outstripping Bayern Munich's 23m with Deutsche Telecom and those agreed with English football's Manchester United, (Chevrolet) Manchester City, (Etihad Airways) and Liverpool. (Standard Chartered).

By Neil Moxley

Paris Saint-Germain keen on Mario Balotelli

Paris Saint-Germain set to rival Milan duo for City striker Balotelli in January

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UPDATED:

09:06 GMT, 18 November 2012

Mega rich Paris Saint-Germain are ready to enter the race to sign Mario Balotelli in January if Manchester City decide to sell the striker.

If the free-spending French side do go for the Italian striker then they are likely to face competition from Serie A giants AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are backed by the Qatar Investment Authority and made an initial inquiry for the striker after Euro 2012, but were put off by the 40million price tag.

On his way: Mario Balotelli could be a target for PSG in January

On his way: Mario Balotelli could be a target for PSG in January

But now they are ready to bid again when the transfer window reopens in January and City could be more receptive after boss Roberto Mancini’s patience is wearing thin and despite backing the striker over recent months, he is now starting to question his attitude.

And with Mancini likely to have to sell before he buys in January, then it could pave the way for Balotelli to leave The Etihad.

Keen to sign: Paris Saint-Germain's Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of the Italian striker

Keen to sign: Paris Saint-Germain's Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of the Italian striker

Balotelli is said to favour a return to his native Italy, where his partner is pregnant with his first child.

However, the current lack of financial muscle in Serie A is an issue Paris do not have.

Frankie Dettori fails drug test

Racing hero Dettori in dock after positive drug test at Longchamp

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UPDATED:

17:14 GMT, 13 November 2012

Frankie Dettori will face an inquiry next week after a positive drug test at Longchamp in September, the rider's legal representative has revealed.

Solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore released a statement with the news the Medical Committee of the French authority are planning a hearing.

Frank assessment: Two of Dettori's rides on the day in question were Willing Foe and and Joshua Tree (below)

Frank assessment: Two of Dettori's rides on the day in question were Willing Foe and and Joshua Tree (below)

Frankie Dettori

The statement said: 'On behalf of
Frankie Dettori I can confirm that, as a consequence of a positive test
at Longchamp on September 16 2012, he will be the subject of an inquiry
by the Medical Committee of France Galop next week.

'In compliance with, and out of
respect for, the regulations of France Galop, he will not be commenting
further until the France Galop procedures have been completed.'

Dettori had four rides at Longchamp
on September 16, a day of major trials for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
meeting the following month.

He finished second on Godolphin’s Farrh
in the Prix du Moulin and third on the same stable's Willing Foe in the
Prix Gladiateur, third on Marco Botti’s Joshua Tree in the Prix Foy and
unplaced on Sarah Lynx in the Prix Vermeille.

In the dock: Dettori will have to answer charges after failing a drug test

In the dock: Dettori will have to answer charges after failing a drug test

France Galop are the equivalent of the British Horseracing Association (BHA).

It is understood the France Galop disciplinary process will be in two parts with a Medical Committee meeting next week followed by a Stewards Committee meeting – which could be anything up to to a week or 10 days later – where any suspension arising from the positive test will be handed down.

Dettori received police caution for
possession of cocaine on May 15 1993, after he had been to watch Arsenal
and Sheffield Wednesday play at Wembley in the FA Cup final.

France Galop have not commented on
proceedings and in previous similar cases they have not issued a
statement before the hearing.

Frankie's folly: Dettori will now be the subject of an inquiry

Frankie's folly: Dettori will now be the subject of an inquiry

Frankie's folly: Dettori will now be the subject of an inquiry

Last month, Dettori's parted company with racing stable Godolphin after a successful 18-year association.

The official line from Godolphin was
that 'the retainer was not really working', although Dettori was
expected to continue working his present contract until the end of 2012.

The British-based jockey has won more than 500 group races in his career. He is best known for riding seven winners at Ascot in 1996.

The 41-year-old partnered nine English Classic winners in the royal blue silks, including their first in 1994 Oaks victor Balanchine, and a total of 110 Group or Grade One winners for the owner.

Asked by the Sportsmail in 2010 about his biggest regret, he said: 'Getting caught with cocaine in 1993. I was on all the front pages and put my family through hell. I was cocky and had too much too soon. It made me grow up.'

Allez! Dettori had four rides during the meet at Longchamp in September

Allez! Dettori had four rides during the meet at Longchamp in September

Sir Norman Bettison "resigned before being dismissed after attempting to influence Hillsborough talks"

Hillsborough police chief 'quit before being dismissed after trying to influence talks over role in disaster'

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 8 November 2012

Resigned: Sir Norman Bettison resigned after allegedly trying to influence talks over his part in the Hillsborough scandal

Resigned: Sir Norman Bettison resigned after allegedly trying to influence talks over his part in the Hillsborough scandal

One of Britain's most senior police officers, Sir Norman Bettison, resigned after learning he faced a possible dismissal having attempted to influence talks about the role he played in the Hillsborough scandal, documents have revealed.

Sir Norman contacted the chief executive of West Yorkshire Police Fraser Sampson before a meeting at which officials made the decision to refer him to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for alleged misconduct after the Hillsborough Panel’s damning report, according to minutes of the West Yorkshire Police Authority..

The conversation with Sampson would be enough to warrant Sir Norman’s sacking if it was proved he obstructed the ‘integrity of the complaints handling process’, the minutes indicate.

The IPCC had already announced that they were investigating a number of police officers involved in the 1989 disaster.

Sir Norman, who was the chief constable of the West Yorkshire Police until his resignation this month, is included in that list.

The former police chief was accused in the Hillsborough Panel’s report of being one of the main perpetrators in attempting to deflect blame from the police and emergency services to fans at the game.

Last month, the IPCC also announced that it was investigating claims that Sir Norman tried to influence the decision-making process of the police authority’s committee which were investigating the disciplinary matters against its senior officers, according to The Independent.

In the previously unseen minutes obtained by the PoliceOracle.com website via a freedom of information request, it was revealed that Sir Norman was not being accused of attempting to prevent the referral to the IPCC, but how that referral would be made.

According to the minutes, Sampson was asked to give the details of the conversation to the committee deciding Sir Norman’s fate on September 15.

Tragedy: 96 people died during the disaster in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest

Tragedy: 96 people died during the disaster in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest

On October 3 – at a private meeting – the minutes indicated that the conversation between Sir Norman and Sampson could result in ‘gross misconduct’ and dismissal if proved true.

When the committee was set to meet again three weeks later, on October 24, Sir Norman, who had led West Yorkshire Police since 2006, resigned, and it is believed he may have been suspended.

Labour MP Maria Eagle has already accused Sir Norman of being part of a ‘black ops’ unit set up to deflect blame from the police in the disaster which left 96 dead.

She also claimed that Sir Norman 'boasted' about cooking up lies to blame Liverpool fans for their part in the disaster.

Sir Norman denies these allegations.

But pressure had been mounting on Sir Norman following the initial publication of the independent panel’s report.

The damning report condemned the police’s response to the incident and their tampering with accounts subsequently.

Sir Norman, who said he had no plans to step down as chief constable in March 2013, said he left ‘not because of any allegations about the past, but because I share the view that this has become a distraction to policing in West Yorkshire now and in the future.’

His resignation means he will not face any misconduct charges, and Sir Norman has said he would cooperate fully with the IPCC inquiry.

Bettison was unavailable for comment on Wednesday evening.

Chaos: The Hillsborough Panel's report condemned the police's handling of the incident both during and after

Chaos: The Hillsborough Panel's report condemned the police's handling of the incident both during and after

Thailand to stage F1 night race from 2014

Thailand set to rival Singapore as Bangkok closes in on deal to stage second F1 night race

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UPDATED:

09:37 GMT, 27 September 2012

A grand prix in Thailand is on the cards from 2014 as an agreement is understood to have been reached in principle for a race to be run around the streets of Bangkok.

The news has been confirmed by Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand.

Chulakasem, along with an advisor to billionaire Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya, met Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone over the weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Rival: A Thailand official claims a deal is in place to race in Bangkok from 2014

Rival: A Thailand official claims a deal is in place to race in Bangkok from 2014

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Chulakasem said: 'It will be a city race like that in Singapore and Monaco, and it will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix.'

However, a sanctioning fee and contract have still to be agreed.

Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa claims the government would likely pay 60 per cent of the annual fee, with the remainder to come from private companies such as Red Bull and Singha.

Support: Over 100,000 people turned out to watch Webber in 2010

Support: Over 100,000 people turned out to watch Webber in 2010

Over 100,000 people took to the streets of Bangok in 2010 to watch Mark Webber take part in a demo run.

Speaking last week, Bernie Ecclestone refused to rule out the possibility of another night race to rival Singapore.

The F1 supremo said: 'It's difficult to know. The trouble is they've started something that's so popular worldwide that I'm sure other people are going to want to do this.

Wales set for new motor racing circuit

Wales set for new 250m motor racing circuit to play host to MotoGP and Touring Car

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UPDATED:

10:58 GMT, 15 August 2012

A new 250million motor racing circuit is being planned for south Wales by 2015.

It is hoped the 3.5-mile Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale, proposed by The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, will host MotoGP, World Superbikes, World Motocross and Touring Car.

The main circuit will be accompanied by an international kart track and motocross tracks, and as part of the plans the project will also include investment in industrial, commercial and leisure developments.

New home: The 3-5 mile circuit could play host to the British Touring Car championship

New home: The 3-5 mile circuit could play host to the British Touring Car championship

A race academy is also in the pipeline to develop young British and European elite riders and drivers.

The developers are looking to submit a planning application to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in late September or early October.

Michael Carrick, chief executive of The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, said: 'This is a major private sector-originated regeneration project in partnership with the local authority and the Welsh Government which will create significant job opportunities in a deprived part of the UK.

'We believe we have identified an outstanding site in Ebbw Vale, on the boundary of a national park and close to major population centres.

'The topography will allow us to create a unique, exciting, safe and stunning environment, which will offer an outstanding experience for competitors and spectators.

'We hope to finalise our detailed plans during this year and commence work on the development early next year with a view to being operational in 2015.'

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Jessica Ennis could have stadium named after her

The Jessica Ennis stadium Britain's Olympic hero could be given new honour

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UPDATED:

11:33 GMT, 9 August 2012

Jessica Ennis' Olympic feat should be recognised by having Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium renamed after her, former sports minister Richard Caborn has claimed.

Heptathlon champion Ennis uses the stadium as a training venue and Caborn, an ex-Sheffield MP, said renaming the stadium after her would help inspire young people to take up sport.

Looking good, Jessica: Ennis receives a special makeover on Wednesday

Looking good, Jessica: Ennis receives a special makeover on Wednesday

He said: 'I am calling for the Don
Valley Stadium to be renamed the Jessica Ennis Stadium by the local
authority as she has spent so much time there, and it would help
encourage young people into sport if they link the stadium with such a
recognisable figure.'

Caborn
also wants Yorkshire's contribution to the Games to be recognised by
the British Olympic Association with at least 10 medallists coming from
the region.

Unforgettable: Ennis celebrates winning the heptathlon at the Olympic Stadium

Unforgettable: Ennis celebrates winning the heptathlon at the Olympic Stadium

He added: 'I will contact the BOA and ask them for some official recognition of Yorkshire's significant contribution to the British medal success and for the BOA to be supportive of some type of celebration.'

PSG enter race for Robin van Persie

Mega-rich PSG join Manchester City in the race for unsettled Van Persie

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UPDATED:

22:40 GMT, 28 June 2012

Paris Saint-Germain are preparing to rival Manchester City for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.

Club director Leonardo has made tentative enquiries as to the Holland international’s availability this summer.

Will he sign Arsenal are desperate for Robin van Persie to pen a new deal, but face a challenge from Manchester City - and PSG

Will he sign Arsenal are desperate for Robin van Persie to pen a new deal, but face a challenge from Manchester City – and PSG

The Ligue 1 club were initially told the Gunners had no intention of selling their skipper, but the ongoing uncertainty over Van Persie’s future has led to PSG rekindling their interest.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti knows all about the 29-year-old from his days at Chelsea and is keen to bring the striker to France.

French fancy: Would Van Persie (right) be swayed by a move to Paris

French fancy: Would Van Persie (right) be swayed by a move to Paris

PSG – who are financially driven by mega-rich Qatari Investment Authority – have the funds to compete with big-spending City.

But Van Persie has made it clear he will only leave Arsenal to join a title-challenging club in a major European league. Manchester City are preparing a formal 20million offer for the striker.

Familiar face: Carlo Ancelotti knows Van Persie well after his two-year stint at Chelsea

Familiar face: Carlo Ancelotti knows Van Persie well after his two-year stint at Chelsea

Van Persie – who has a year left on his contract – is stalling on a new three-year deal worth 130,000-per-week – plus a 5million bonus.

Earlier this week, City boss Roberto Mancini – a long-term admirer of the Dutchman – was coy when asked about Van Persie, who has a year left to
run on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

'Van Persie is an Arsenal player, I won't say anything,' he explained.

Prize asset: Arsene Wenger would dearly love to hold on to Van Persie

Prize asset: Arsene Wenger would dearly love to hold on to Van Persie

Van Persie is also on the wanted list of Italian giants Juventus as well as Barcelona in Spain and has been offered a new deal at the Emirates.

City,
though, have the power to offer the 28-year-old in excess of 200,000 a
week as well as the chance to win the Barclays Premier League.

If City are to push a deal through they will need to offload one of
their other high earners such as Emmanuel Adebayor or Carlos Tevez.